Friday, February 06, 2009

Friday Problem

Black to play

So White has the bishop pair and an extra pawn that may be tricky to hold. Black has completed his development and planted his knights in the centre of the board although they may be vulnerable to pawn advances.

Today's problem isn't one of those positions where there's a clear cut line of play to find. What I want to know is who, if any one, is better and by how much?

You may also want to take a punt at why I'm asking. I'll be getting back to that next week.


Phil said...

You can't evaluate who is better without knowing whose move it is!

Anonymous said...

Right so I want to play ... d4 with the general idea of gaining access to d5 with the queen in some way, and particularly to punt the following tactical bit:

1. ... d4
2. f3 Ne3+
3. Bxe3 dxe3
4. fxe4 Rxf1
5. Qxf1 Rf8

which looks like fun. Unfortunately it also looks like only one of many options, so "1-0, time" seems the other general pointer.


Anonymous said...

Isn't black much better because of the threats of g5-g4 and Rf6-h6 (against which this particular patzer can't see a decent defence)?

Adam B.

Jonathan B said...

Indeed so - which is why I wrote "Black to move" under the diagram.

I confess I'd not even considered the idea of 1. ... d4. i'll have a look now though.

I thought Black was getting a good kingside attack too but I wasn't convinced I was right.

Morgan Daniels said...

Not an adjourned position I hope, JB.

Anonymous said...

one of the things about d4 and Ne3 is that it allows Black to think in terms of Ng5 which will win the bishop on h3 - but how to factor in e7 variations is a bit tricksy


Jonathan B said...

Not an adjourned position nope.

Mark Leonard said...

It looks like White is better as he can drive the knights away with f3 and b3. They're not actually threatening anything just yet. f3 is useful for White as he has the option of Bg4. (Which is desirable if ...Ng5).

My first idea was 1...g5 2.f3 Qg6 3.fxe4 g4 but I'm sure White is better after 4.Bxg4

After seani's line 6.e7! is winning.

I would like to play 1...Rf6 which might be equal after 2.f3 Ned2 3.Bxd2 Nxd2 4.Qxd2 but White should instead play 2.g4 followed by f4 and g5.

I wondered if 1...Qe5 might be good. It's a different method of supporting a knight on e3, discouraging b3.

Mark Leonard said...

OK, my guess is that this was a game agreed drawn after something like 1...Qe5 2.Kg1 Qh5 3.Bg2 Qe5 4.Bh3

Black is in no rush to capture the e6 pawn. Any pawn moves by White weaken his position. The difficulty lies in making progress if White does nothing.

White should try 2.f4 but this could easily end in a draw too. 2...Qd4 3.e3 Qf6 4.Rb1 Ncd6 5.b3 Nf5 6.g4 Qg6 7.Kh1 Qh6 8.Kg2 Qg6

How about 3.Qd1 as an improvement?

Am I close?

Neill Cooper said...

Did someone's mobile phone ring?

Jonathan B said...

Somewhat mundane than that Neill.

Jonathan B said...

the answer is 'somewhat more mundane than that' I meant to say.